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TANAKA Akihiko

September 11, 2015

JICA President Hands Over Mindanao School Building and Signs Infrastructure Loan Deals in the Philippines
School construction project was one of 20 quick impact projects JICA has undertaken to promote peace and development

JICA President Akihiko Tanaka attended a handover ceremony for a school building project in Mindanao during a visit to the Philippines from Aug. 23 to 26.

photoDignitaries participate in a handover ceremony for school buildings in Mindanao, the Philippines, in August 2015. From left are International Monitoring Mission Head of Mission and Major General Dato Sheikh Mokhsin Bin Sheikh Hassan; JICA Philippines Office Chief Representative Noriaki Niwa; Mayor Ramon Piang, Sr., of Upi, Maguindanao; JICA President Akihiko Tanaka; Bangsamoro Transition Commission Chairman Mohagher Iqbal; Bangsamoro Development Agency Executive Director Mohammad Yacob; and Kibleg Elementary School Principal Nestor De Vera.

photoJICA President Akihiko Tanaka shakes hand with a pupil from Kibleg Elementary School in North Upi, Maguindanao.

The ceremony was held in North Upi, Maguindanao, Mindanao, and was attended by Bangsamoro Transition Commission Chairman Mohagher Iqbal. The school building project was one of 20 quick impact projects worth 73 million pesos (equivalent to 189 million yen) JICA has undertaken to contribute to peace and development of the region. Years of conflict have deprived many of Mindanao's people of access to basic services and better livelihood opportunities. To ease this situation, various quick impact projects are being implemented in conflict-affected areas, including sub-projects such as multi-purpose halls, a warehouse with a solar dryer and school buildings.

JICA's involvement in Mindanao peace and development process began in 2002 with its support to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Social Fund for Peace and Development. Since then, Japan's total official development assistance to the region has reached 15.1 billion yen.

In his speech, Tanaka said JICA will continue to support the Philippines in its efforts to further attain sustainable peace and development in Mindanao.

During his visit to Mindanao, Tanaka also met with Moro Islamic Liberation Front Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, among others.

photoFinance Secretary Cesar Purisima, left, shakes hands with JICA President Akihiko Tanaka after the signing.

Tanaka also concluded the signing of loan agreements for two infrastructure projects worth 33.689 billion yen. One of the projects is the “Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project,” designed to strengthen the resilience of the transportation network in Metro Manila by replacing and strengthening the Guadalupe and Lambingan bridges. The other, “Davao City Bypass Construction Project (South and Center Sections),” aims to improve accessibility to major infrastructure and mitigate congestion in Davao City by introducing the Philippines' first long-distance tunnel.

In 2014, JICA and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) completed the Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and the Surrounding Areas. The roadmap is intended to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila and promote development in nearby growth areas. It outlines short- and long-term development plans, including a new gateway airport, improved road networks and expressways, an integrated urban mass-transit network in Metro Manila and road-based public transport modernization. It also outlines the need to improve Metro Manila’s “soft” components such as traffic management systems.

photoJICA President Akihiko Tanaka, left, and Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III

Tanaka also made a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III on Aug. 26. The president thanked JICA for its cooperation on the two Japanese ODA loan projects. He expressed his gratitude to JICA for the school building construction projects in Mindanao, and emphasized the importance of education.


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